Discover your dream Career
For Recruiters

GUEST COMMENT: What to do when your investment banking interviewer is inept

When you get the call to interview with firm X and meet with person Y, you might think that person Y would ask relevant questions to evaluate whether you are qualified for the role.

You may well be wrong.

The truth is that very few financial institutions train their employees to interview candidates. Most interviewers don’t know what to do or say, and they may not have interviewed anyone for a long time.

Therefore, they resort to the same safe questions that everyone dreads: Who are you? What do you want to do? What is your five-year plan?

As a candidate, however, you can actually use this situation to your advantage.

If someone is asking you generic, boring, interview questions, it is your opportunity to steer the conversation in the way you want. You need to start being proactive. Ask some probing questions of your own: what are their priorities, what are they looking for in a candidate?

Steer the conversation in a way that highlights your own accomplishments. Before you go into the interview make a mental checklist of the points you want to communicate about yourself. Try to steer the interviewer in the direction of questions that will allow you to express these points. Aim to have three key selling points that will help you to win the role.

Needless to say, you must not appear overbearing, or contemptuous of your interviewer. It’s all about taking control, subtly.

The author is an American MBA currently working in Asia. A version of this article first appeared on our Singapore site.  

AUTHORAnonymous Insider Comment
  • Jo
    25 September 2012

    Lead the questions, leading that you've GOT to be able to ensure that you know your story and start asking questions so that it's no longer a Q&A with the interviewee answering, and make it much more of a conversation.

Apply for jobs

Find thousands of jobs in financial services and technology by signing up to eFinancialCareers today.

Boost your career

Find thousands of job opportunities by signing up to eFinancialCareers today.
Latest Jobs
Sycomore Asset Management
Analyst Co-Fund Manager
Sycomore Asset Management
Paris, France
Sycomore Asset Management
Opérateur Middle-Office
Sycomore Asset Management
Paris, France
Robert Half International
Financial Accounting Manager
Robert Half International
Dagenham, United Kingdom
Arab Banking Corporation
VP, Specialized Finance
Arab Banking Corporation
Manama, Bahrain
Michael Page
Assistant Company Secretary - FTSE 250
Michael Page
London, United Kingdom